Travelocity has enlisted Sarah Michelle Gellar to host a virtual cooking demonstration on Nov. 24, a free event that will be open to the first 1,000 viewers who register to join the Zoom conference, the company announced.
During the livestream, Gellar will create two travel-themed Thanksgiving dishes: her holiday "safecation" stuffing muffins and southern Thanksgiving cornbread muffins. Both dishes are a nod to the South, where Gellar has spent many Thanksgivings with her family, according to the press release.
The travel company is also sharing Gellar's recipes and a video recording of the event for people who can't attend the livestream. Travelocity's team-up with Gellar comes amid an increased interest in home cooking in advance of a pandemic-scuttled holiday.
Travelocity's partnership with Sarah Michelle Gellar for a Zoom cooking tutorial comes as the pandemic changes many consumers' plans for Thanksgiving. Travelocity's 2020 holiday travel outlook survey found that only one in four Americans plan to visit their loved ones for Thanksgiving. Of those travelers, the majority of them are embarking on road trips or organizing intimate gatherings at home, according to the press release.
The downturn in travel has had a profound effect on companies like Travelocity — as parent company Expedia's revenue plummeted 82% because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Seattle Times reported — that are now looking to connect with consumers in fresh ways.
Despite the unusual holiday conditions this year, Travelocity recognized that people are adapting to new traditions, Katie Junod, general manager at Travelocity, said in a statement. In response to more consumers spending the holidays at home, other brands have brought on celebrities for home-cooking campaigns as well. HelloFresh will feature comedian and actress Mindy Kaling in a four-part online video series about home cooking, while HBO Max and Pinterest collaborated on a quarantine cooking show starring singer and actress Selena Gomez.
The partnership with Travelocity is the most recent campaign for the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star. Gellar has teamed up with Cascade in February and Apothic wine in October, and previously starred in Olay's 2019 Super Bowl spot. This campaign was inspired by her own family celebrating Thanksgiving safely at home as well as creating dishes influenced by previous holiday guests, Gellar said in a statement. The uptick in celebrity-centered marketing campaigns comes as the pandemic has closed down most TV and film productions in the U.S.